George W. Bush calls for more legal immigration as he calls on BOTH sides to come together as he publishes a new book of portraits of immigrants to make the debate more ‘human’
- The former president pursued bipartisan immigration reform during his tenure
- He called for a path to citizenship for DACA recipients
- Also pushed ‘smart’ border infrastructure and enforcement
- Wants to reform asylum and promote legal immigration
- Bush’s new book features paintings of immigrants
- He writes that it is an attempt to ‘humanize’ the immigration debate
Former President George W. Bush has renewed his call for a two-pronged immigration reform – including a way for people who came here illegally to “earn” citizenship through a “gradual process.”
Bush made his immigration talk – where he also mentioned border security a possible area for agreement – when he released a new book that infuses his appeal with humanizing portraits of immigrants.
During his tenure, Bush supported “comprehensive immigration reform legislation” that never made it through the Senate – and continues to push two-pronged efforts on an issue that has become one of the most hotly debated topics.
Former President George W. Bush says the border is an area for possible agreement between the two parties.
Bush, whose portrait subjects include an Afghanistan-born entrepreneur, Czech-born Madeleine Albright, and Medal of Honor winner Army Captain Florent Groberg – calls the border an “ opportunity for agreement. ”
He’s advocating even now that critics have hammered President Joe Biden over a wave of unaccompanied minors and Democratic anger over Donald Trump’s border wall.
“I’ve long said that we can be both a lawful and a hospitable nation,” Bush writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. We need a safe and efficient border, and we must deploy all necessary resources – manpower, physical barriers, advanced technology, streamlined and efficient gateways and a robust legal immigration system – to ensure this, ” Bush writes.
Bush tried to bring about “comprehensive immigration reform” through the Senate
A U.S. Border Patrol agent registers immigrants before they are taken to a processing center near the U.S.-Mexico border in La Joya, Texas, on April 13, 2021. A wave of immigrants making the arduous journey from Central America to the United States has challenged U.S. immigration offices along the southern border
He is also increasing legal immigration. “Increased legal immigration, targeting employment and skills, is also a choice that both sides should be able to find out,” Bush said.
He also supports changes in the country’s asylum system – as asylum applications lead to backlogs in court. Trump, during his crackdown on illegal immigration, complained that potential migrants would shape their stories to meet the asylum criteria. His tenure included a series of actions as part of his ‘zero tolerance’ party raising the bar for asylum seekers.
“We also need a modernized asylum system that provides refugees with humanitarian assistance and appropriate legal channels to prosecute their cause in a timely manner,” Bush writes.
Bush is calling for an amnesty for the estimated millions of undocumented immigrants here who are “fundamentally unfair” to those pursuing legal immigration.
“But undocumented immigrants must be brought out of the shadows through a gradual process of earning legal residence and citizenship, as for anyone else applying for the privilege,” he writes.
Bush’s new book is called ‘Out of Many, One’ and is an attempt to make the immigration debate ‘more human’. He jokes that hopefully it won’t be called ‘One Too Many’.